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Summer Guide 2014: Outdoors 

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ZIPLINE TOURS

Ever wanted to be a bird? Silver Streak Zipline Tours in Wallace, Idaho, will give you a bird's-eye view of North Idaho's Silver Valley. The tour company boasts two zipline courses, with speeds reaching up 55 mph. The tour company, which is in its third year, has an east course and a west course. The east course has four zips ranging from 325 feet to 1,800 feet, while the west course has six zips ranging from 435 feet to 1,100 feet.

Bonnie DeRoos and her husband, David, originally bought 250 acres near Wallace in hopes of developing specialty homes. However, after ziplining in Honduras and Mexico, they decided to build a zipline course instead.

"It's very exhilarating," DeRoos said. "You're on a platform and you're about 300 feet above ground and you're zipping over canyons, trees — whatever that particular line might be."

Silver Streak Zipline Tours' lines start close to the ground, instead of high up. Still, DeRoos says on some of the lines you travel over trees and canyons.

"We have beautiful views. It's all undisturbed mountainous terrain," DeRoos said. "We have a lot of wildlife up there. Both courses have a view of Wallace."

The tour is open to all ages, but there is a minimum weight requirement of 85 pounds and a maximum of 250 pounds.

Open Wednesday through Sunday, the west course costs $90 and the east costs $80. If you're feeling particularly zippy, pay $155 and do both in one day. Each course takes between two and two and a half hours to complete. To make reservations call 208-556-1690 or email [email protected].

HIKING: FAR AND NEAR

The beauty of Spokane and the Northwest in general is that you're never more than a few hours away from an outdoor adventure. Whether you're looking for an easy day hike for the whole family or a more intense backpacking-style adventure, there are plenty of options within three hours of Spokane.

For a day hike close to Spokane, check out Iller Creek. The five-mile loop features forested trails and views of the Selkirks and the Palouse. The trail, maintained by the Washington Trails Association, is a good hike for the whole family.

If you're looking to adventure farther, make sure to check out Leavenworth. Three hours west of Spokane, this Bavarian-themed mountain town is a great jumping-off point for a variety of adventures. There are plenty of hotels within the town itself, as well as campsites all along Icicle Creek Road. Many of these campsites sit right on the river or various smaller streams. From here there is plenty of hiking. One popular day hike is Colchuck Lake, an intense 8.4-mile hike that takes you from 2,200 feet to 5,600 feet. Colchuck itself is a pristine alpine lake surrounded by gorgeous mountains and glacial ice.

Just two hours north of Spokane is Metaline Falls and an excellent 19-mile hike deep in the heart of Colville's Salmo-Priest Wilderness. While some do this loop in one day, it's best broken up into a two- or even three-day backpacking trip. The hike takes you into Idaho at points, there are plenty of water sources and the views are spectacular.

For specific driving instructions, as well as more detailed advice, make sure to check out the Washington Trails Association website at wta.org.

FREE STATE PARK DAYS

There's not much worse in life than paying for something you didn't have to. So make sure you add Washington state's free park access days to your calendar. This summer, June 14 (National Get Outdoors Day), Aug. 25 (the National Park Service's birthday) and Sept. 27 (National Public Lands Day) are all free park access days. These are the perfect chances to get outside and enjoy the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Note: You still need a Discover Pass on these days for Washington State Department of Natural Resources and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife lands.

DISCOVER PASS

The handful of free access days not enough for you? Go buy the annual pass. It's only $30 ($35 with transaction and dealer fees). That's a killer deal. A day pass is $10. The fine for parking without a pass is $99. This pass gives you access to state parks, water access points, heritage sites, wildlife and natural areas, trails and trailheads. You can buy the pass online at discoverpass.wa.gov; by phone at 866-320-9933.

GOPRO BASICS

Own a GoPro, but not quite sure how to use it? Come check out REI's "Getting to know your GoPro: GoPro Basics" class on June 19 at 7 pm. It's free and REI's GoPro experts will help you learn how to navigate the camera's interface, video resolution options, capture settings and accessories.

FROYO FROLFING

Frozen yogurt and Frolf (disc golf) — what could be better? Although it might be a bit impractical to do the two simultaneously, there's no reason not to try. Spokane's Riverside State Park Downriver Disc Golf Course sits along the Spokane River. And there's a Froyo Earth located 10 miles away on North Division Street. Coincidence? We think not. It's guaranteed to be a good time; just make sure you bring some napkins. Froyo Earth owner Steve Kraft says, "Peach or angel-food froyo with pom-raspberry sorbet is great for frolfing, rolfing or licking while frolicking."

REEL WOMEN FLY-FISH

Ladies, come enjoy a day of fly-fishing with other women and girls on June 21, organized by Spokane Falls Trout Unlimited. It's a day full of fishing on a private trout-stocked lake 10 minutes from Coeur d'Alene. The $50 price tag includes gear, lessons and meals. Are you an experienced angler? No worries. Come join in anyway, and make sure to check out the afterparty. Details and registration online at tinyurl.com/flyfishingWomen or call 532-0522. ♦

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